IBM is sponsoring two initiatives intended to bolster global public health efforts to avoid pandemics. In fall 2005, IBM hosted an event for leadersof the health community to share ideas about what contribution a technology company could make to support their efforts. The results are the Interoperable Health Care Information Infrastructure (IHII) and the Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeller (STEM).
IHII mines health data and looks for patterns in symptoms, forexample, that might anticipate the spread of a particular illness. Then the STEM applies that information to data about such topics as human travel patterns to help formulate efficient plans to limit the spread of the illness. A committee representing the World Health Organization, the
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Scripps Research Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Biodiversity oversees these programs. Scripps and IBM will construct a facility in Florida to support the initiatives.